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Iraq's national museum to reopen after 2003 invasion

The National Museum of Iraq in Baghdad

Source : World Bulletin / 08 Feb 2014 

The National Museum of Iraq in Baghdad may reopen in April for the first time since it was closed after being partially damaged and ransacked in the wake of the 2003 US-led invasion of the country, the director of the museum said Wednesday.

"We've been working on rebuilding the museum in cooperation with Italy," museum director Qais Rashid told Anadolu Agency on Wednesday.

The director added that the final step of the planned renovation would be the building of a new main gate, which will likely be completed in April.

"The reopening of the grand museum – after it was looted and vandalized in 2003 – is great news for Iraq's cultural scene," Iraqi archeologist Adel al-Azzawi told AA.

He also called for establishing more museums in all Iraq's provinces, citing the fact that the Iraqi museum could not contain all the country's antiquities.

Established in 1923, the National Museum of Iraq is located in the eastern Baghdad neighborhood of Al-Salihiya. Elaborately constructed, it boasts some 200,000 ancient artifacts, including many pre-historic ones, organized into 18 halls according to their respective historical eras.


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